What does the phrase "all in a day's disappointment" mean?

Look, Lacy has forgot to put her toys in the box after playing again! All in a day's disappointment, I guess.

Would it be wrong to modify a set phrase this way?


The common idiom is "all in a day's work", which can have several meanings depending on context, but mostly implies something is routine, or expected, for a particular job or role.

Being a parent often means cleaning up after your kids, but that's all in a day's work I guess.

"All in a day's disappointment" is fine as a variation on this idiom, but in my opinion it's not particularly clever. In addition it doesn't make much sense without additional information, since it's not obvious why the speaker would be disappointed that Lacy didn't put her toys away. Disappointment requires some expectation that has not been met. For example:

Oh look, Lacy has forgotten to put her toys away even after promising me she would. That's disappointing.

Lastly, the tone of "all in a day's disappointment" seems rather dark, as if the speaker expects to be frequently disappointed, and takes even trivial matters (like a child's carelessness) far too seriously. If I heard someone I care about say this, I would probably ask them if they're OK.

If instead you simply want to convey frustration that, once again, you have to clean up after your child, then "all in a day's work" does exactly that. And, of course, there are many other idioms that work just as well:

I told Lacy a hundred times that she needs to put her toys away after playing with them, but you know with small children it's just in one ear and out the other.

  • I agree with everything you've explained, except maybe the part about the wording seeming "rather dark" and maybe prompting someone to ask if they are mentally okay. (I'd regard it more as modifying a trite expression for the sake of some tongue-in-cheek parody.) But I still think this is a very useful answer. – J.R. Nov 17 '18 at 18:29

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